[17:45] I ended up going to bed before 22:00 last night. I wasn't all that
tired, but figured as I needed to be up early this morning I may as well get my
head down (and read a bit before going to sleep). I think it helped as I was
fairly awake when I got out of bed at 05:50. I was running by 06:00 and home
exactly 50 minutes later as per my training plan. I don't know if it was the
jabs I had yesterday, or something more positive, but my heart rate was
consistently lower for the perceived effort I was putting in, I thought. I
headed to work to do the very little I needed to be at my desk for at 08:00, and
then got on with the rest of my day. The major things I did today was cobble
together a few new Ansible roles and throw them at three new servers I was
suddenly asked to create at the tail end of yesterday. They're pretty much
ready to go other than a few new things that've cropped up at the tail end of
today. I'll do those things (via Ansible) tomorrow.
Tomorrow's also a rest day, which is nice. I might even not get up until gone
07:00. Oh, and I've been following Rachel's menu/meal plan all week whilest
she's been away. It has lead to some nice food, but more washing up that I
usually generate when I'm on my own.
[17:15] It wasn't raining this morning, but it turned out to be more humid than
it felt like. So the run was harder than I was expecting. Unless it was
yesterday's hard session which had some effect. Probably. It was nice that I
didn't have to push it this morning in any event, and I even got to slow down a
little to keep my heart rate below 150bpm, which I managed for the most part.
At work I've been fielding VM requests and trying to sort out what it is that is
required (and what isn't). Tomorrow may be another busy day in that regard.
It'll also be another early start as I want to get my run done before getting in
to work just before 06:00 for more network reconfigurations. I think that's
everything, other than the fact that I got in to work a little later this
morning as I was having Typhoid and Yellow Fever jabs this morning to prepare
for Kenya in a few months from now. My left shoulder has been aching on and off
since it happened. Maybe I should have had one in each.
[17:05] Today was... I guess it was a useful day. If only to show that I can
run reasonble sprintervals when I'm supposed to. Although I can't guarantee
that as my GPS watch went crazy in the middle of my run and put me over a mile
away from where I actually was for a while before snapping back about ten
minutes later. So, that was annoying as now I have a whole set of new 'records'
for distances in times I can never hope to even come close to, which messes up
Strava and Endomondo, etc. Oh well. That's about it, really. Some stuff done
at work, new VMs, configuration changes, general... stuff. This is probably how
it'll be for a little while until something new and big comes down the pipe.
Useful on one score as I'm mentally a bit unsettled by the house
purchase/impending move stuff.
[17:10] I have to say, I'm enjoying this new marathon training programme I'm on
for the one in Kenya. It may not have me ready for the Vanguard Way Marathon in
a few weeks from now, but it's certainly not as hard as other programmes I've
done/concocted myself. Today was only a 25 minute (I did 30 just because I
wasn't close to the finish point when 25 minutes rolled around) run at an easy
pace. I pushed it up to the top end of aerobic, which still meant I made it
back to the office without having sweated all that much. That's been the
highlight of my day, really. Nothing much else has gone on. The weekend was
good, though. I ran to, did, and ran back from parkrun, which was good. I
didn't push too hard at parkrun (although I'm thinking I will start to from now
on to make it my 'fast' session of the week), so that was nice too. Back home I
cleaned and tidied the house a little bit so I wouldn't feel too embarrassed
when my landladies showed round their next prospective tenant. I then headed
into town to meet Rachel for lunch, which was wonderful. We went to Waterstones
afterwards to read books and things, then headed home via Tesco. Unfortunately
I then had a dose of the downs, for the first time in a while. Or at least the
first time in a while I've been hit so hard by them. Rachel was, of course, a
wonderful partner to have around while I was in the pit, and I think that's a
major contributory factor to me finding that I was rising back out of it without
even realising. She's amazing and special like that. She also made us a
fantastic dinner as we settled in for the evening. On Sunday neither of us
wanted to get out of bed, so we didn't until close to midday, which was
marvellous. By the time we were ready to go for our run the heavens had opened
and we elected not to get soaked to the bone and instead wait for an hour or so
before the rain stopped. Once it had we headed out and did a 1h 40m run at a
moderately steady pace. By the time we got back and clean we were famished, so
had a very late lunch. The remainder of the afternoon passed by quite quickly,
and I don't really remember much about it other than Rachel again making a
delicious evening meal and us catching up on House of Cards. Neither of us
slept all that well last night, and I for one was extremely groggy until well
after I arrived at work this morning. I'm looking forward to going home
(hopefully without getting soaked from the thighs downwards (great waterproof)
and definitely getting an early night tonight.
[16:20] Well, we decided to go out last night and really smash the row. And as
a result we did what we set out to do, which was awesome. However, with one
shout I managed to very slightly strain my throat/vocal chords, leading me to
sound a tiny bit hoarse for the remainder of the evening. Still, a great
result, made all the sweeter by coming around onto the final bend of the course
to find that our other two crews above us had also done great things. We all
rowed back as a fleet of three feeling very pleased with ourselves.
Tonight is now the last day of racing this week. I have no idea how well we'll
do this evening, but I have high hopes given last night's performance.
Disappointingly, I not only forgot to start my GPS watch before the cannon went
off, but the person in bow didn't start the camera, so we have no video of the
row either. Hopefully tonight will be an opportunity to remedy both of those
issues, maybe with a reminder from Max to start my watch.
I got up semi-early this morning to do a nice sub-150bpm run to the lock and
back again, then headed to work and did... basically a day's worth of work
stuff. Nothing important, really. No-one cares.
So tonight is racing, after that is as much socialising as I can manage before I
slip away and go to bed while people are still winding up to peak party levels.
Saturday morning I'll probably do a moderately gentle parkrun, then clean and
tidy the house a bit before meeting Rachel in town for a nice lunch together.
We'll go to a bookshop or two, then to Tesco, then home. Chances are she might
go straight to the hospital to visit a friend who's in after a car accident a
little while ago and I might come too rather than be home while my landladies
show someone around the house (which is why I'll be cleaning and tidying it a
bit). Sunday... I don't know, it's empty at the moment, which is nice.
There'll probably be some kind of longish run happening. Then it'll be Monday
[17:10] A slightly easier row last night. Although we had one rower who was
touch-and-go as to whether he'd be able to get in the boat or not we still put
in the same crew and came away with an excellent start and then an ability to
take it easy after about three fifths of the course owing to crews around us
getting taken out of the race. That was helpful as I think we're going to try
to really go for it this evening.
I headed home as soon as I could after we'd returned to the boat house,
downloaded the video from the camera, had some crumble and went to bed. This
meant that I could sleep through most of the torrential downpour overnight, get
up doubly early to do a sub-150bpm run to the lock and back and still get to
work before 08:00 to do a PHP upgrade and be on hand to say if servers moved
from old to new Cisco networking equipment came back or not. One whole rack did
not, so we had to return them to the old switch until someone in Networks gets
the configuration right for the new FEX ports. Otherwise today I've been trying
to relax as much as possible, get out of my chair to keep my muscles loose, and
work on some quite helpful Ansible stuff for future builds of Drupal/Aegir
Now I'm off home to have another early dinner and then it's off to the river to
[16:45] Well, the first night of racing went as expected. We had a great start,
then made no ground on the crew in front (who were also from our club). Then
again we also weren't caught by the crew behind either. After the race we
headed back to the boat house, then I cycled back with Max and Stacey who were
walking back to my house to collect their car. The video of the night's row
wasn't all that interesting, so I haven't bothered to publish it.
Unfortunately, one of my crew has complained of a neck/back issue today, so
we've been looking at potential subs for tonight's row. Thus far we don't seem
to have had much success. Additionally I had to pop a very deep blister at the
base of one of my fingers this morning and it's only going to get worse over the
next three nights. I think it might be quite uncomfortable this evening,
especially considering how hard I was finding it to feather and square last
night by the latter part of the race.
I did make time this morning to go out for a gentle 7km-ish gentle run before
work. It was hellishly humid, even if it wasn't all that hot. I was still
rather damp by the time I got home again. Workwise nothing of import has
happened today. Tomorrow morning I'll be in early to do some PHP upgrades and
also make sure that servers being moved from old Cisco switches to shiny new
FEXes are still contactable afterwards. Other than that, the day is full of
promise, rather than scheduled work.
Anyway, I have to head off now to have an even earlier dinner than normal so I
can get out on the towpath and be a race marshal before doing my own race.
[16:55] Not a stunning night's sleep last night, if I'm honest. Couldn't tell
you why either. In the end I got up at roughly the right time, did some morning
exercises, and went to work. At work I've done plenty of useful things for most
of the day, as well as somehow regaining access to a web site that wasn't
accessible for all of yesterday. I'm off home shortly to have a very early
dinner (the first of the week, and for the next three days after this) so that
it has been reasonably well digested by the time I get to the boat house to race
this evening. I have no idea how things are going to go tonight/this week, but
I'll keep you informed as the event progresses. I'll also be mounting my GoPro
knockoff on the bow canvas again, just to see if it does any kind of OK job of
getting image and sound in approximate sync.
[17:15] A smashing weekend again, thanks for asking. I went and ran to and from
parkrun on Saturday morning after breaking and deciding on pizza on Friday night
(I convinced myself it was carb-loading for this week's rowing). The parkrun
was fun, but I made myself not go flat out as that's not what the training
programme said I should do. Once home I got cleaned up and did the Tesco thing,
making sure I had all the things Rachel needed me to get for meals for the
remainder of the weekend. She arrived later on on Saturday evening and we got
down to making both dinner and the dinner for the Sunday night as well (although
in all honesty Rachel did most of the heavy lifting). Then we just settled in
for the night. On Sunday we decided that it was at least a morning of rest (if
not a day of rest). This meant we didn't actually get up to do our run much
before midday. This therefore meant that it was quite hot and humid by the time
we got out there. I came back drenched, as I always do in hot weather. Running
duty done for the day we were able to sit back, do other things, and not think
about much else for the rest of the day. That's about it, really. Quite nice
and peaceful. I even got to call my parents.
This morning we both felt quite lethargic when we arose, Rachel to head off to
London and me to work after morning exercises. Today I've done some useful VM
creation and configuration, sent some useful emails, fiddled with this and that,
here and there, and looked forward to going home, reading, and then cycling to a
race marshal meeting at a local venue to prepare for the one shift I have as a
race marshal this week (Wednesday evening, I think). And now it's well past
home time, so off I go.
[16:30] Rachel was with me last night, and it was wonderful to just be able to
relax together. I went and got us some nice food for dinner on the way home, so
for once she/we didn't have to throw ideas around before getting something. I
should do that more often, I think. This morning neither of us wanted to get
out of bed, but we managed it eventually and went on our respective ways to
work. At work I tore down one VM, created another, did some useful stuff here
and there, and tried not to look at houses which have come on the market
recently which might be better than the one I'm in the process of buying. I
should stop doing that.
Tonight I might finally mow the front lawn again before the mower can't cope
with it any more. Maybe some hedge-trimming too, although I might do that over
the weekend instead while I wait for Rachel to come back. I'll do parkrun
tomorrow morning, I think. Nothing too fast as that's not what my training
plan has down. A longer run on Sunday than I've been doing recently though, I
think... Ah no, only 1 hour and 20 minutes, so nothing too out of the ordinary.
Rachel and I should have Saturday evening and all of Sunday together, unless
something crops up. See you on Monday.
[17:10] No run this morning. Got to work early, did work, went for a run at
lunch time (day 1 of a new marathon training plan), did some more work, about
to go home. Rachel will be arriving at some point (sooner rather that later,
I hope) and then all will be well. Tomorrow will be Friday, thank goodness.
Allegedly a long-running and well past sell-by date application will be
decomissioned then. This will rid me of seven RHEL5 server instances, six of
them virtual, three of those Xen, and one physical server. Hurrah. Of course,
this may not happen if everyone else hasn't got their duck in a row. We'll see.
[17:15] I planned on getting up early to run before work this morning. However,
after last night's torrential rain, which I thought might still be going this
morning, as well as going to bed a little later than I'd planned (for no
particular reason), I just turned off the alarm and stayed in bed until around
08:00. I'm getting up early tomorrow morning anyway to be in work in time to
ensure all servers having their network ports attached to new switches come back
and are visible following the move. That means if I run tomorrow then it'll be
at lunchtime. Much as I ended up doing today, actually. Although perhaps not
as far. Max went running mid-morning, and his route looked fun enough that I
thought I'd do it myself. It was fun, although I worried a few times if I was
going to turn my ankle (I didn't). I didn't push too hard, but with the heat
and the climbs (a surprising number for this neck of the woods) it ended up
being a reasonable workout.
I've been given a bank party role for the racing next week, as well as being
asked to find bank parties for our boat when we're rowing. I definitely won't
be doing the boat organisation this time next year; it's just more effort than I
want to be bothered with. However, I think I've got it in hand, maybe.
Erm, I think that's probably it for today. Tomorrow's all about making sure
servers are responding, doing some other stuff, then Rachel arriving in the
[17:20] Quiet day today. Not a lot going on. What did go on was a run at lunch
time before the rain came down this afternoon. That was with Max, and went well
(steady, nothing broke). Otherwise the day was about maintaining the status
quo. Before work I went into the bank to make sure I can get easy access to all
of the funds I'm going to need to buy the house (effectively cleaning me out,
but there you go). Turns out everything should be straightforward.
However, I am going to get my financial ducks lined up in a row a good 3-4 days
before I need to do some major CHAPS transfers.
Last night's final outing before next week's races went reasonably well.
Everyone was, I think, a little less switched on than on Sunday morning, but it
was still a fairly promising example of what rowers who haven't rowed in quite
some time can do. Bits of me ache a bit today, but I don't think there's
anything we need to be particularly worried about... other than other crews
being faster than us. And maybe that none of us have all that much in the way
of rowing stamina if we have to keep going for a while. We'll see. Eight days
of recovery (from rowing, anyway) now.
[17:00] Very full weekend in passing! On Saturday Rachel and I got up early and
onto the first of ten trains of the day to get to Manchester via Doncaster
(where we'd been going to meet Rachel's parents before driving to the Peak
District to meet my parents). Once in Manchester (trains were flawless) we
spent lunchtime with my parents catching up and making sure they were both OK.
Then it was back to the train station and on trains back home again. A long
day, but very much worth it. We ended up getting takeaway curry once we were
home as it was just easier. On Sunday morning I was pleased to find that my
back was feeling pretty much fine, so it was was great pleasure that I headed to
the boat house and had a rather good outing with the eight other people I'll be
rowing with in races next week. Once I got back from that Rachel went for a
long, hot run, whilest I went to Tesco for us. When everyone was home again we
were able to have a lovely lunch in the garden, then catch up on this and that
before settling down for a lazy afternoon and evening.
We decided to get up earlier than we needed to this morning and have a gentle
recovery run to the lock and back before Rachel had to head to London. This
proved to be a little bit of an issue for me as it woke something unhappy in my
right hamstring which I hope will calm down in time for this evening's outing
(the last before a week on Tuesday when we race for the first time). Since then
I've been at work doing Monday work things and worrying that something I
couldn't handle might come up with everyone else in my team being on holiday
today. Right now I've just finished booking a hotel for two nights for the tail
end of our big trip to Kenya later in the year, and now I'm off to help a
colleague move a piano before he drops me off in time to get to the boat house
for a row. It doesn't seem to have thunder and lightninged today as it was
'supposed' to, so here's hoping it doesn't do it in the next four hours or so!
[16:50] Somehow I've managed to tweak my back again. And I did while warming up
to do exercise at the boat house this morning. Stupid. I have no idea how/why
it happened. It started in the bottom of my right lat. and seems to have moved
across to the middle/spinal area. I'm glad I'm not rowing tomorrow, but I will
be on Sunday morning and Monday evening, so I hope things have settled down by
then. I'll take an Ibuprofen or two over the next 40 hours or so, which should
In other news, Rachel and her friend from Kenya arrived last night, we had
dinner, perspired in the evening heat, chatted a bit, then went to bed. This
morning I left Rachel to go for a run and then do her day's activities with her
friend while I went to the boat house and did strength and conditioning with Max
before cycling to work. At work I've done a few useful things, and been to have
a very interesting and useful meeting with my conveyancer, which has resulted in
an email to the house seller and an appointment with an account manager at my
bank so that I know what state my money is in (i.e. how to get access to it when
I need it). Now I'm off for the weekend. Tonight Rachel will arrive after
seeing her friend off on the next stage of her visit to the UK, then on Saturday
we head to see my parents for a flying visit by many trains. We'll arrive home
at a fairly sensible time, but then need to be in bed so that I can get up and
to the boat house on Sunday morning. After the outing on Sunday (during which
time I imagine Rachel will go for a nice long run) we'll... do some other stuff.
I don't really know what at the moment, but I'm sure Tesco will be involved,
also relaxing, eating, and decompressing from the previous six days of
Right, I'm off home to do some washing up, read, and drink lots of cool drinks
(as well as take an anti-inflammatory).
[17:00] Investments continue to be lower than I'd hoped. Maybe they're like a
watched kettle and I should just look away for a week or two. Stupid
governmental and financial upheavals. Couldn't they have waited a few more
In other news I got up early for another run this morning. Not as long as
yesterday morning's, but still hot and difficult. According to my records, also
the slowest I've ever run the route I did since 2012. That's very
disappointing. I really do seem to be getting slower and slower. I wonder if
it truly is the low-carbohydrate food plan I'm on at the moment. If it is I
really will have to change back in a few weeks otherwise I may not make it
through some of the races I have coming up between now and the end of the year.
At work I've opened up a few cans of worms for myself in terms of things to do
given that I don't have much on my plate at the moment and it's better to be
occupied than just sitting at my desk watching things on the internet. Nothing
particularly hard (just in case something critical comes up that I have to deal
with) but things that should keep me occupied for a while.
Lastly, I've had the results of the secondary survey of the house I'm hoping to
buy. The damp issue in the shower room isn't something I need to worry about,
apparently (although I am going to invest in another course or two of tiles once
I move in). What I do have to look into is getting timber treatment for some
woodworm in the loft/roof timbers. Nothing too serious, but it's going to cost
a small chunk of change to get done. I've sent a suitably-worded (I hope) email
to the house sellers asking if the costs can be taken out of money I'm going to
owe them for various things they're selling me, or that they can get the work
done themselves before I move in and give me a certificate attesting to that.
I'll see what they say, probably before the end of the day.
I'm heading home now to clean and tidy the house as Rachel's here tonight with a
friend from Kenya. It's going to be a bit odd, but I'm sure it'll be fine. In
the morning I'll be up earlyish to head to the boat house to do some strength
and conditioning work with Max. Then it'll be a trip to my conveyancer at lunch
time to talk about all things house purchase.
[16:50] I'm a little concerned about my investments. For the first time in a
good few months they've started to go down in value a little. I'm desperately
hoping they don't continue to sink between now and the beginning of September
when I'll actually want to cash them in. It would be... annoying if they'd
continued to rise for the last five and a bit years, only to crash right when I
needed them. I say "annoying", I mean potentially catastrophic. But we'll see,
Speaking of catastrophic, that's almost how this morning's run went. I got up
"nice" and early to get a good 24km in, and barely survived 20km before it even
got all that warm. It wasn't all that fast (but neither was it slow), and while
I think I could have kept going, it didn't feel all that good. I'm
committing to this lower carbohydrate intake thing for the time being, but it
may be that it just isn't working for me. A few more weeks, I think. Maybe a
couple of months.
I was thinking I'd pop to the boat house this evening for some weights, but I'm
not sure that would work well with the run I want to do tomorrow morning, given
this morning's demi-debacle.
[17:00] I cycled home last night via the bike shop to get my good commuter bike
back, and then wobbled it and the other bike to the boat house to do an hour or
so of weights (being careful of my back, which I tweaked exactly a week
previously) before wobbling both bikes back to the house. Everything went
safely, thankfully. We'll just have to see how long these new pads last. I had
a complete brain fail on what to cook for dinner, so had to break out the
emergency frozen pizza, which was a bit disappointing.
Sleep came quickly, and I had a pretty good night's sleep, which was nice.
Although I'm sure I had some odd dreams, I can't remember any of them. I cycled
into work this morning, happy to be back on my good bike again, and also fairly
achilles tendenitis free, which was also a pleasant change. I can sometimes
tell how good/unaffected I'm going to be by how they feel walking from the cycle
corral to the front door of my building. Over lunch I decided to push a little
harder than normal, and do the reverse of the route I've been doing fairly
regularly on a Tuesday morning. I'd like to think I could go a lot faster, but
apparently not at the moment. I'm still quite disappointed in how I'm doing
relative to Rachel's increasing power and speed, but perhaps I just need to bite
the bullet and get on with doing some proper sprintervals/speedwork. That might
start tomorrow morning. Maybe.
I'm off home now, possibly to read all evening as I've got nothing to watch and
I've restarted a good book series. Dinner should be a little more interesting
than last night, I hope. It'll probably involve chicken. Oh, and I've still to
hear anything from the company who did my secondary survey on the house. If I
don't hear anything by lunchtime tomorrow I might give them a nudge.
[16:45] We did masses this weekend, and it all started on Thursday evening when
I took the train to Rachel's. We met on the train heading south out of London
and took the tram home as that's where both of her bikes were. We had a fab
evening and even got to sleep in a little on the Friday morning. After a bit we
ended up going for a run around the local park (cutting short what we might have
done), and then after a shower went for a great bit of lunch at her favourite
close-by cafe. Once we'd cycled to the train station and taken trains back to
my place we settled in for a bit of present-opening before wandering out a
little later on to do the Tesco shop and later after that to get Indian
takeaway. Saturday morning was something of a triumph for Rachel as we cycled
to the local parkrun and she got herself a new 5K PB, totally demolishing her
previous time (and my PB). This called for going home and having a rather nice
lunch. Which we did. After relaxing afternoon, during which time I think I
managed to correctly organise getting the secondary survey of my potential house
purchase organised for just after lunchtime today, Dunk arrived and once the
last bits of Rachel's baking were done we headed over to Keith's second shed
party. A good time was had by all, and we even managed to stay until well past
22:30 before heading home again. I think Dunk came back to spend the night some
time around midnight. In the morning he left early to get back to his wife and
children, so Rachel and I got up and pottered around. To cut a long story short
we had a chilled out day, went for a 26 mile cycle in the evening, watched a
good bit of television and had nice food.
This morning I left for work with two bikes so I could get my good one repaired
(the disc brakes are acting up, again). I've done a fair bit of useful work
today, but hope to get something more substantial done tomorrow. I'm about to
go and collect my bike, then do some weights at the boat house.